Austin Attorneys Receive Defense Verdict After Five-Day Trial

June 23, 2017

Austin attorneys Tasha Barnes and Brian Hensley represented a heavy equipment service company accused of negligent repair of a bucket lift resulting in a catastrophic personal injury.  Plaintiff was utilizing the bucket lift which malfunctioned while he was installing a commercial sign.  Due to the malfunction, he was crushed against the sign and sustained severe internal injuries including loss of a kidney as well as back injuries.   Plaintiff underwent a lumbar fusion and alleged constant pain, permanent impairment, disfigurement, loss of earning capacity and future medical of $500,000.00. Plaintiff's counsel argued that his client should be awarded $7 million.

After a five-day trial, the jury found no negligence on the part of our company.  The jury found both Plaintiff and his employer negligent, placing 98% of the fault on Plaintiff’s employer and 2% on Plaintiff for using equipment they knew to be unsafe.  The case was defended on warnings as the company warned Plaintiff’s employer that the lift was unsafe, the repair was incomplete and the lift should not be used.  Plaintiff’s employer used it despite the warnings, with the owner claiming he did not receive the warning.

The Thompson Coe team representing the heavy equipment repair company included attorneys Tasha Barnes and Brian Hensley, as well as paralegal Ava Schroen.

The case is Mark Allen Horvatich v. Action Lift, Inc., D-1-GN-15-000682, in the 126th District Court of Travis County, Texas.